Reproducing Formula 1 cars has always been important to Tamiya and they have always represented the highest level of technology available at the time. Tamiya uses the same logic with the release of the Road Wizard chassis that represents the highest level of technology at the time of release for sale. In keeping with Tamiya tradition, the Road Wizard chassis has evolved from the first to the last model released for sale; Tamiya has not changed the name of the chassis as happened with the F1 chassis that evolved into the F1 CS, but the differences are such that a basic chassis and an evolved chassis can be identified. Road Wizard is named after the first model released for sale that uses this chassis:
– Road Wizard, model number 58053 equipped with the standard chassis, released for sale in 1986 and available on the market until 1988,
– Lotus Honda 99T, model number 58068 with an advanced chassis, released for sale in 1987 and available on the market until 1992, and
– Williams FW11-B, model number 58069 equipped with an advanced chassis, offered for sale in 1987 and available on the market until 1992.
These three models represent a very important novelty for Tamiya, there are several advertisements that Tamiya or the various importers around the world have published in trade magazines; in the image below is an example of an advertisement concerning the William FW11-B and partly the Lotus Honda 99T.
In designing the Road Wizard chassis, Tamiya uses all the experience developed with the previous models. In fact, the Road Wizard chassis is the development of the F1-F1 CS chassis combined with the experience gained with the RM MK5…7 chassis in FRP, an acronym for ‘Fiber Reinforced Polymers’.
The main evolution between the F1 CS models and the Road Wizard models is that we move from a mixed metal – FRP frame to an all FRP frame. This solution guarantees greater lightness while maintaining excellent torsional stiffness. The weight is reduced from 1.35 kg for a Formula 1 frame to 0.98 kg for a Road Wizard frame.
The main evolution between the RM MK5…7 and Road Wizard models is that we move from a structure formed by two overlapping plates joined by towers with structural functions to a single plate with a structure at the rear formed by a second small plate to house the battery and hinge the rear suspension system.
Elenco della parti del modello Lotus Honda 99T numero 58068 e modello Williams FW11B Honda numero 58069:
The main features of this frame are:
– FRP bottom plate with a load-bearing function and to absorb ground roughness. The standard frame of model 58053 has a more flexible structure at the front and a more rigid structure at the rear. The advanced frame of model 58068-58069 has a more rigid structure at the front and a more flexible structure at the rear. The reinforcement plate of the lower frame of model 58053 is very simple in a rectangular shape (in dark blue in the picture), while the reinforcement plate of model 58068-58069 has a much more refined shape resembling a bottle in section (in dark blue in the picture). The T-shaped rear end is significantly more elongated in the evolution frame than in the standard frame. This difference leads to different road behaviour: model 58053 is very soft at the front and stiff at the rear, losing driving precision, model 58068-58069 has a better damping system at the rear and a stiffer front, this improves driving precision and road holding.
The differences between the two chassis is also the ground clearance: the standard model has an average height of 4..5 mm that decreases going from the front to the rear, the advanced model has a constant height of 7 mm. On the left are pictures of model 58053 and on the right are pictures of models 58068-58069.
– rear shock absorber changed from a simple spring-loaded shock absorber to a CVA shock absorber in the Mini version. The evolved Road Wizard chassis is one of the first chassis to be equipped with this shock absorber, which is still used today (2023) on many models.
On the left are pictures of model 58053 and on the right are pictures of models 58068-58069.
– the rear structure housing the motor, rear axle, differential box and suspension system evolves from the standard model to the evolved model; the metal arm fulcrum of the shock absorber has a different shape (highlighted in green in the picture the standard model and in purple the evolved model). The system of two plastic C-shaped plates changes shape slightly; the new model no longer has the two rear towers for fixing the body (highlighted in red in the picture). On the left are pictures of model 58053 and on the right are pictures of models 58068-58069.
– the upper plate in the standard version is in the shape of an equilateral triangle with 3 columns joining it to the lower frame; the upper plate in the evolved version is in the shape of a trapezoid with 4 columns joining it to the lower frame, it houses the two towers for locking the body. In addition, the evolved model has a small FRP plate that acts as a torsion bar for the rear suspension (highlighted in red in the picture). On the left are pictures of model 58053 and on the right are pictures of models 58068-58069.
– the front suspensions are simple springs acting on the steering spindle, repeating what was tested with the RM Mk5…7 chassis.
– in the Road Wizard model there is a mechanical rev regulator (highlighted by the red arrow) and in the Lotus Honda 99T – Williams FW11-B model there is a more advanced electronic rev regulator (highlighted by the blue arrow). On the left are pictures of model 58053 and on the right are pictures of models 58068-58069.
– Models equipped with Road Wizard have a Lexan body rich in detail.
The 58053 model comes standard with 3 sets of stickers to apply to the same body, with each set being associated with a different livery. The first set is for a Formula 1 that never existed and is a free interpretation by Tamiya, the second set is for the Williams Honda and the third for the J.P.S. Lotus. Pictured are the three available liveries in this order: Road Wizard, Williams Honda and J.P.S. Lotus.
Model 58068 is the Lotus Honda 99T driven by Satoru Nakajima and Ayrton Senna. In 1987, out of 16 races, it won two grand prix races, one pole position and three fastest laps.
Model 58069 is the Williams FW11-B driven by Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet. It raced in the 1987 World Championship and was an evolution of the FW11 that won the constructors’ title in 1986. The 1986 Williams FW11 car is the best of the lot winning the most races and only losing the drivers’ title due to adverse situations that had nothing to do with the car. Williams decides to race in 1987 with the same car that is only evolved into the Williams FW11-B\. The major differences of the two cars are in the front end and the motor cooling system. The result is resounding: the car wins 9 races and obtains 12 pole positions in a championship that counts 16 grand prix races, the final result being the constructors’ and drivers’ championships won by Nelson Piquet.
The Road Wizard chassis in its two evolutions is the basis for all subsequent Tamiya Formula 1 reproduction projects. All Formula 1 chassis released to date (2023) are a development of the evolved chassis of the 58068-58069 model, the evolved chassis of the Road Wizard family guarantees improved drivability, road holding and traction.
The new frames take up these basic points of the Road Wizard project:
– frame design with single FRP bottom plate with increased rigidity at the front and greater flexibility at the rear,
– the front suspension is simple springs acting on the steering spindle,
– in the central rear area is the reinforcement structure formed by a second plate that houses the battery and part of the rear suspension,
– the following models maintain the system for installing the motor, rear axle, differential and suspension that is a clear evolution of that of the Road Wizard; the system formed by two C-shaped plates is evolved in the F101 chassis, heir to the Road Wizard chassis, and maintained unchanged for the F102 and Group C chassis.
The images below show the evolution of the two C-shaped side plates: the image with the red frame is the solution of the standard Road Wizard frame, the image with the blue frame is the solution of the Road Wizard evolution frame and the image with the green frame is the solution adopted for F101-F102-Group C.
Model 58068 Lotus Honda 99T was released for sale again in 2011 under model number 84191, chassis F103. Obviously this model is more performance oriented than the original model, the most significant figure being the weight, which was reduced to 0.66 kg. Broadly speaking, the F103 chassis takes up the same concepts as the original model: lower plate, small upper plate in the cetrnal-rear area, spring-loaded shock absorbers on the front spindle, single rear shock absorber and rear system housing the motor-axle differential.